I have checked number of online survey results and in few they show number of voters and in few they dont't.

So, thinking about the scenario I came across following questions:

  • Is it something that it depends upon the type of the survey? If yes, then what would be the factors to take the decision.
  • Is hiding the number of voters is related to the lower number of respondents?
  • To show number of voters or not?

1. Survey Result Without Total Number of Voters

Survey Result Without Total Number of Voters


2. Survey Result With Total Number of Voters

Survey Result Without Total Number of Voters

Personally, I think showing voter numbers is better as it gives reader a better insight about the thought of other people (regarding majority/minority in favor/against)

  • 2
    From a user point-of-view, yes it's better to show the number of voters. But that may not be the case from the business point of view. If it's a poll on a corporate site then it's likely they don't want it to appear that they only have a few visitors. Businesses want people to think they're huge and popular. – JonW Jun 4 '15 at 15:59
  • @JonW yeah agreed upon why businesses don't show total numbers – exexzian Jun 5 '15 at 5:29

I think you're right with the first point you raised - the type of the survey will determine the way you display the results.

Showing the numbers is pretty important to distinguish the validity of the survey results. Obviously a small sample size is very likely to skew the results and in most cases this is not a good thing.

An issue with displaying the results in the case of a survey with a limited number of responses, is that if there's not a lot of responses, perhaps people will refrain from voting ('nobody uses this thing') or be inclined to ignore the results based on the low number of responses.

Someone has already raised this point above, where a company may want to appear bigger than they are, and showing a small number of votes won't help with this.

A common behaviour is to not show the results until after the poll, which negates the impact that the results have on the actual vote itself, which to me is one of the most important things - I think doing any poll you want to protect the validity of the results, regardless of how many people respond, and one way of doing this is hiding results until after the vote, numbers or no numbers displayed. (See Conformity on Wikipedia)

It seems to me that in most cases displaying the number of votes is going to be more helpful than not though. I've tried to have a look for some studies into this but it seems hard to find so I'm basing this on my own opinion and deducing from common logic - certainly open to interpretation but hope I've helped a little.

  • thanks for clearing and putting more lights on my thoughts :) – exexzian Jun 6 '15 at 6:12

I agree with @Vincent but I want to point out that an Horizontal bar guided just by colors isn't probable the most user friendly way of displaying this data..

I would go with the classic pie chart or at least with horizontal stacked bars. Here some that I consider good examples:

Pie chart:
enter image description here

Stacked bars:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Really liked that pie chart version - Keeping total number of respondents at center – exexzian Jun 8 '15 at 3:54

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